Chinese house church leader tells of plight of Chinese Christians

The China Aid Association (CAA) has released an open letter written by a prominent Chinese Christian leader to the Chinese President and Communist Party Leader, Hu Jintao.

In the letter, Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, President of the Chinese House Church Alliance (CHCA), tells his story of how he became a house church leader and leader of CHCA. He also lists incidences of persecution against Christians such as beatings, imprisonments and tortures.

Despite the contribution of the CHCA to charitable causes, particularly to aiding orphans and the homelessth, the organisation has been subject to more persecution in the time before and after the 17th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Local police asked Pastor Zhang and his family to close down his house church along with his school and a nearby orphanage.

In his letter to the Chinese President, Pastor Zhang said, "It is my belief that this persecution is a result of the corruption of officials subordinate to the central government, failure to enforce the law in a strict way, distortion of facts and evildoings and collusion between the local despots and the officials."

Pastor Zhang called upon President Hu to listen to the suffering of innocent persecuted Christians.

He continued by urging the President "to seriously consider the misery of the common people and urge the officials subordinate to you to stop persecuting Christians and implement their promises in the Constitution on religious freedom."

"We can have a harmonious society when we build it on the foundations of love, friendship, fairness and justice," he added.

Pastor Zhang said that the desire of Chinese Christians is "to win justice for the common people in China so that the Chinese society is full of love and care and that China can become free, prosperous, and a real powerful country in the 21st century in both soul and in social system."

He finished saying, "We sincerely pray to the Lord to punish the evil and promote the good so that the common people can receive blessings and that China will have real religious freedom. I believe this is also the wish of President Hu. I hereby pray to God to bless you and all the officials in power, to give them more wisdom in ruling China."

The CAA, who released the letter, has also reported that a house church led by Pastor Gao Wendong in Linyo City, Shandong Province has won a legal battle against the local police.

The church was represented by Beijing Christian lawyer Ms Wu Chenglian and was helped by Pastor Zhang. On 17 November the church one its legal battle and had its confiscated property returned.